Thailand Childcare Volunteers
2-8 weeks from $1,601
- Discover the lively chaos of Bangkok
- Travel through the beautiful Thai landscape
- Assist in the care and education of young children
- Become part of a local community
- Get firsthand experience of Thai traditions and culture
- Explore Thailand and visit Cambodia in your spare time
If you’ve ever thought about combining travel with volunteer work, it doesn’t get much better than touring the bright and lively streets of Bangkok before making your way north through the rich rural scenery of Thailand’s Surin Province, to be met by beaming smiles and requests for hugs from a small horde of amazing children. You’ll be living and working as a member of the community during your stay, helping and providing support to the dedicated but under-resourced staff at a local childcare centre. You’ll be caring for pre-school age children, setting up activities, supervising playtime, and helping to teach basic skills to prepare them for education. This is a truly rewarding experience guaranteed to melt your heart.
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
What to expect at the project
After arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), you’ll be met by our friendly team who will be waiting to take you to your accommodation near Khao San Road. Depending on your arrival time you’ll have the chance to unwind and relax before meeting some of your fellow travellers and getting out to explore the hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s famous backpacker hub.
Your second day will start at 10am with a fantastic boat tour through the winding canals of the city’s more traditional regions. Afterwards the group will pay a visit to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), Wat Pho – home to the golden reclining Buddha, and Wat Phra Kaew – Bangkok’s regal Grand Palace (please note the entrance fee to the Grand Palace isn’t included and currently costs 500THB/£12). In the evening get a taste for Thai food and nightlife with new friends in the city centre.
You’ll board a train on day three, heading north into the countryside on a seven hour journey through the striking scenery of national parks and rice paddies to get to your rural home in Surin. You’ll be sharing accommodation with members of your group (even if they’re on a different volunteer programme to you), and have time in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends to socialise and swap stories about your work.
From Mondays to Thursdays you’ll help support the staff at the local childcare centre by providing care to a group of smiley, chatty children – who are going to be incredibly pleased to have you there.
Day in the life
You’ll be working at the childcare centre from Monday to Thursday, with morning pick up at 8am (it takes around 25 minutes to drive to the centre from the volunteers’ accommodation). During your time at the centre you’ll be taking direction from the experienced and helpful staff and could be doing a number of different things, from supervising the children, organising activities, helping to teach basic maths, English, and other key skills, as well as helping with lunches and developing learning plans.
Activities with the children usually end after lunch (around 12:30) when they all settle down for a sleep. During this time you’ll help the staff wash up lunch dishes, tidy the centre, and assist with any other activities or projects that are underway at the time. You’ll usually get back to Surin town between 2pm and 3:30pm, giving you plenty of time to relax, explore, and get to know your group better.
Friday to Sunday are yours to get out there and discover the beautiful rural village and beyond. You could head down to Khao Yai National Park (around three hours from your accommodation), or make for the sandy shores of Koh Samet for a beach weekend (roughly 8 hours away). You’ll be located really close to the Thai/Cambodia border, so you might want to take the opportunity to visit another country for the weekend. Whatever you fancy doing in your downtime, the friendly staff at your accommodation will be on hand to make suggestions and help you plan and arrange activities and transport to make the most of your time.
Please note that all activities, inclusions and itineraries are subject to change.
Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme
The childcare centre was initially set up as a simple early years day care and learning facility for poor rural families so that parents could go and earn an income, and now plays an essential role in the local community. The centre gives the children a great opportunity to mix and play with lots of other children their own age, as well as developing basic educational skills.
It’s a fantastic placement if you’re interested in working with young children and there’s plenty of fun to be had playing games, singing, dancing, and planning arts and crafts activities as well as running educational programmes and providing practical support to the staff.
This isn’t an easy project – it’s tiring and the children have never ending energy supplies, but if you’re looking for hands-on experience to help make a better future for some of the poorest families in Thailand, this programme is informative and interesting, and hugely rewarding.
You’ll be providing education and care to some very deserving children, and helping their families to stay in work. This is a great programme for anyone interested in a career in childcare and will give you a fantastic introduction to a hectic working environment with a large group of young children – but will ultimately increase your confidence and experience.
- Transfer on arrival
- All accommodation
- Bangkok tour
- Transfer from Bangkok to Surin
- Transport to and from the childcare centre each day
- Full support from an in-country co-ordinator
- 24/7 emergency support
- Travel insurance
- Entrance fees to the Grand Palace
- Optional activities
- Return transfer
In Bangkok you’ll be staying in twin or triple shared rooms in a simple but clean guesthouse an easy five-minute stroll from the mayhem of Khao San Road. All rooms have air-conditioning, ensuite bathrooms, and access to Wifi.
There are three volunteer houses in Surin, all located close to each other – so you’ll be able to meet up with your fellow travellers easily. You’ll be sharing a room with between two and four others, and have access to a shared living area, an outside chill out area, and a communal kitchen if you fancy cooking your own meals (although it’s incredibly cheap and more fun to eat out!). Each house has Wifi, although this can drop out from time-to-time, there’s a convenience store close by, and the town, which is full of restaurants and bars, is a short five minute tuk tuk ride away.
You will need to arrange your flight to Thailand to arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) on your programme start date between the hours of 6am and 10pm; we recommend that you arrive before 3pm, if possible. You will need to make your own way back to Bangkok at the end of your trip, the journey takes 6-7 hours by train; if you wish to fly on your programme end date please arrange a flight that departs late in the evening on your programme end date or the day after to allow enough time to travel back to Bangkok.
Minimum age for this programme is 18.
It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away. British passport holders arriving by air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa. Please ensure your passport is valid, with six months' validity remaining on the date of your planned return, and that you hold a valid return flight, or onward travel, ticket. If you plan to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days you will need to apply for a visa before departing the UK, which will be issued as a 60 day tourist visa.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
An enhanced DBS check is required for this programme. If you do not hold a certificate dated within 12 months of your programme start date, please contact us as we can help you arrange the DBS check for an extra fee.
How Many People Will Be In My Group?
This depends on the time of year, but typically you can expect to have around 10 people in your group.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
It’s pretty cheap to eat and drink in rural Thailand and if you’re travelling on a budget £80 per week should be enough. But if you’re planning on getting out and doing lots in your downtime, it’s worth bringing double that or more.
What Sort Of Age Will Other Travellers Be On The Programme?
The majority of your group will be aged between 18-30, but this programme is popular with travellers of all age groups, so expect a good mix.
Should I Bring A Mosquito Net With Me?
You can do if you like, but all the volunteer houses in Surin are fitted with mosquito screens on the windows, so you should be fine without.